Robbie Manson is a champion rower from New Zealand who competed in the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. | KC_photoooz

It’s been quite a journey for me since my last international race four years ago, and I’m excited to share the details of my comeback and the unexpected path I’ve taken on OnlyFans.

Imagine being selected for the Tokyo Olympics, only to have them postponed due to the pandemic. That’s precisely what happened to me in 2020. It was a defining moment that made me reassess my priorities. Burnout had taken its toll after 15 years of nonstop rowing, and I knew it was time to prioritize my mental health. Retirement seemed like the only logical choice, even though uncertainty loomed ahead.

During my hiatus from rowing, I ventured into various pursuits, from working with horses to coaching. I needed a break from the relentless grind and an opportunity to rediscover the joy of rowing without the weight of competition. Little did I know that this return would reignite the fire within me, setting the stage for a comeback.

I recently made a decision that some may find surprising: I joined OnlyFans. Now, before you jump to conclusions, let me clarify. My content on the platform is anything but adult entertainment. I promise no explicit content or shenanigans, just a fun and playful space where I can express myself creatively and promote body positivity, sensuality and self-acceptance.

It’s a space where I can authentically express myself through tasteful and artistic means. Drawing from my previous experiences with nude photoshoots and cheeky Instagram posts, I found a potential way to generate the financial support needed to fuel my Olympic dreams. After all, training for the Olympics requires dedication, hard work and, let’s be honest, financial support.

I want to emphasize that my OnlyFans content aligns with my values and the artistic expression that has always been a part of my journey. It’s not about explicit content but rather a celebration of the human form, sensuality and self-expression. I take pride in creating content that is both intriguing and respectful, offering my fans something worth following.

I understand that this decision might not align with everyone’s expectations, but I want to stress that dedication to my athletic pursuits remain intact.

Robbie Manson hopes to compete in the 2024 Olympics.

When people ask me about my rowing plans, I simply tell them that my goal is to “enjoy it.” It’s not about obsessing over results or personal bests anymore. Instead, I’ve embraced the philosophy of working hard, controlling what I can control, and finding fulfillment in the process. Surrounding myself with understanding and supportive coaches and teammates has made all the difference. Together, we’ve created an environment that fosters positivity, growth, and above all, enjoyment.

As I embark on this exciting chapter of my rowing career, my sights are set on the World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, in September and ultimately qualifying for the Paris Olympics next year.

I may not have regained my physical peak from 2020 before retiring, but what I’ve discovered along the way is far more valuable — a renewed passion for rowing and a deep appreciation for the joy it brings. It’s not just about the destination; it’s about relishing the journey itself.

I believe my story holds potential to inspire and challenge conventional perspectives. It’s about embracing authenticity, pursuing passions and navigating uncharted waters.

Robbie Manson is a competitive rower based in New Zealand. You can follow him on OnlyFans, Instagram (@robbie_manson) and Twitter (@robbie_manson_). Manson was Outsports’ Male Athlete of the Year in 2017.